West Coast surfers scored big at the 17th annual Surfrider Clean Water Classic surf competition in Westport, Washington on Sept. 22 and 23.
Day one of the event held at Westhaven State Park was called off by lunchtime due to near gale wind and double overhead waves.
“[Saturday] was insane. That was more of a workout survival surf than a surf, but it was definitely fun. I got some bombs,” said Ucluelet’s Paul Boskers, who went on to win the stand up paddleboard division.
Rip Curl Canada team rider Ben Murphy placed third out of 60 surfers in the pro am men’s divison.
“The first day was really difficult with the conditions. To have to try paddleout in 15 minutes and catch two waves, it turns into more of a lifesaving surf lesson rather than a competition. It’s all about how well you manage your ocean skills,” said Murphy.
“[Westport] is a lot more powerful than a lot of the waves that we surf at home. It can be a lot of fun. I was just riding my old board. It was feeling a bit weird for a bit, but I put new fins on it and it seemed really fun,” said Porter, a member of the Ucluelet Secondary School Surfrider Youth Club and leader of the waste-free lunch program.
“I like the contest set-up,” she added. “The judges are up high and then you surf down below.”
READ: Meet Canada’s first Surfrider Youth Club (Westerly News, Mar. 28, 2018)
Ucluelet’s David Schiaffino placed second in the men’s longboard.
“It was an excellent experience. This was the first time I surf in a longboard contest. I never compete in longboard before. The waves were beautiful; lots of options. There is not only one peak, there are several. I’m definitely coming back next year,” Schiaffino told the Westerly News.
Ann MacDonnell from Tofino won the women’s longboard. Fellow Tofitian and Surf Sister Lydia Ricard took third.
“It was so hard to know who did what,” said Ricard of their final heat.
“There was so much going on, so many waves. I’m stoked that [Ann] won. It’s awesome. It was two Tofino out of three on the podium.”
Surfrider Washington staffer Brice Boland said the annual surf event and fundraiser draws about 400 people to the area, including about 75 volunteers and about 122 contestants.
“This is a key cornerstone event for Washington State. It brings all of our chapters in Washington together, we bring all of our chapters from Oregon and British Columbia down here to really celebrate and enjoy our oceans, waves, and beaches on the Washington coast,” said Boland.